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Three UW Students to Study Abroad Under U.S. State Department Program

December 10, 2020

Three University of Wyoming students recently received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or work as interns abroad during the academic year.

The students, including their hometowns, majors and where they will do their internships, are:

-- Batavia, Ill. -- Carlee Simpson, a junior majoring in zoology, is participating in an internship program with Kaya Responsible Travel, an ethical travel company with a focus on volunteering abroad.

-- Colorado Springs, Colo. -- Joanna Burgi, a sophomore majoring in social work and minoring in international studies, is participating in an international business and economics program through International Studies Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic.

-- Olean, N.Y. -- Mathew Waugh, a senior majoring in international studies, is participating in a bilateral exchange program at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco.

The Gilman scholarship program selection committee recently reviewed more than 1,500 applicants. The three UW students were offered awards to participate in credit-bearing study and intern abroad programs.

Approximately 900 American undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the United States were selected to receive Gilman scholarships this term. The congressionally funded Gilman program broadens the U.S. student population studying and interning abroad by providing scholarships to outstanding undergraduate Pell Grant recipients who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise study abroad.

Additionally, Erika Saunders, an advising coordinator in UW Education Abroad, part of UW’s Global Engagement Office, served as a Gilman selection panelist reviewing student applications from institutions across the country.

“UW is grateful for her service to international education and for her promotion of these opportunities for our students,” says Shelley Jewell, UW Education Abroad director.

Since the program’s establishment in 2001, more than 1,300 U.S. institutions have sent approximately 28,000 Gilman scholars, who represent the diversity of the U.S., to 145 countries around the globe.

“I am thrilled to recognize the three outstanding students who have been selected to receive Gilman scholarships this year. It is exciting to see UW students succeed in this highly selective national competition,” says Isadora Helfgott, interim associate vice president of UW’s Global Engagement Office. “The Gilman scholarship supports our goal to make the education abroad experience accessible to every student who wants to add an international dimension to his or her education. I want to acknowledge the hard work these students put into their applications and the work of Global Engagement Office staff who supported them through the process.”

The Gilman program ensures that study abroad, and its career advantages, are more accessible and inclusive for American students, says Heidi Manley, the USA Study Abroad director at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“These diverse American students gain critical skills overseas that expand their career options and ability to make an impact in their home communities,” she adds.

The Gilman program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education.

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